4.4. Organizational theories

  1. Sharon E. Straus MD, FRCPC, MSc3,
  2. Jacqueline Tetroe MA4 and
  3. Ian D. Graham PhD, FCAHS5
  1. Jean-Louis Denis1 and
  2. Pascale Lehoux2

Published Online: 9 JUN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118413555.ch29

Knowledge Translation in Health Care: Moving from Evidence to Practice

Knowledge Translation in Health Care: Moving from Evidence to Practice

How to Cite

Denis, J.-L. and Lehoux, P. (2013) Organizational theories, in Knowledge Translation in Health Care: Moving from Evidence to Practice (eds S. E. Straus, J. Tetroe and I. D. Graham), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118413555.ch29

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital; Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

  2. 4

    Knowledge Translation Portfolio, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Ottawa, ON, Canada

  3. 5

    School of Nursing, University of Ottawa; Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Author Information

  1. 1

    École nationale d'administration publique, Montreal, Québec, QC, Canada

  2. 2

    Department of Health Administration, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 9 JUN 2013
  2. Published Print: 12 AUG 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118413548

Online ISBN: 9781118413555



  • health care organizations;
  • health care systems;
  • knowledge use


This chapter presents an organizational perspective on knowledge use in health care organizations and systems. Organizational perspective is useful for understanding the factors and processes that can impede or facilitate the use of research-based evidence to enhance decisions and practices. This perspective builds on three key concepts of knowledge: capability, process, and codification. Each of these concepts embodies different strategies for promoting the use of knowledge or research-based evidence in health care organizations and systems. Knowledge as capability underlines the potential of organizational structures and resources to support people in their attempts to use knowledge. Knowledge as process emphasizes flexibility in knowledge use and the need to contextualize knowledge. Knowledge as codification focuses on the potential of sophisticated information systems to govern health care organizations, an approach that is most beneficial when people confront their views on the information that can be extracted from such tools.